Sunday, April 01, 2007

Galapagos...Isla San Cristobal

I can honestly say that trip from Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador to the Galapagos was dreamlike and our most enjoyable passage to date. 530 miles and four and a half days of flat seas and enough wind to keep us sailing without the motor most of the time. We arrived in the early morning to the misty fog of Isla San Cristobal. There was no actual island in sight (except on radar) until about a mile and half away. As we rounded the bouy there it was, a harbor full of commercial and crusier boats alike, our new home (for the week anyway). As we dropped the hook we could faintly smell, but definately hear the barking and moaning of a legion of sea lions in the background. The first to welcome us to the Galapagos was indeed some very playful sea lions. Flipping and gasping as they circled Scholarship. There little puppy faces are irresistable to me and I have to restrain myself from taking too many pictures of them. They seem to be in harmony with humans here. It´s not uncommon to find one in your dinghy or one passed out the street close to the malecon. That is the very tip of the iceberg as far as wildlife is concerned. In our four days here we have encountered several birds I would deem exotic, marine turtles and iguanas and of course many fascinating gigantic land tortioses. On the way back from the totioses we even found a 300-year-old tree with a bar in it. Today we hit the water for some snorkeling with the lobos del mar (what sea lions are called here). A bit colder than I had expected, actually a lot colder. A lot like California water. Glad we have those hefty 7mm wetsuits stashed in the bilge. I will be wearing mine soon. Our Galapagos permit limits us to visiting only four of the thirteen islands. A few more to go, so we will be moving on in a day or so. Below are some photos from San Cristobal. Enjoy.

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